Friday, December 29, 2017

Backlight: A Fesler Family Chronicle Release

Backlight: A Fesler Family Chronicle Paperback – September 3, 2017
Backlight, A Fesler Family Chronicle In the theatre, a backlight illuminates the shapes of the actors and the set but masks the details to create illusory truth. Backlight tells the shadow tale of a family’s trek across continents and generations. One family journeyed from Switzerland in the 1600s through Germany to Pennsylvania Colony in the 1700s, into Indiana in the 1800s, and then to Arizona in the 1900s, always searching for a better life. The Fesler saga mirrors the experiences of millions of Americans, no matter their heritage or land of origin. This work is part history, part fiction but a whole attempt to understand the people and forces that help shape us. The more we understand, the better we can consciously choose directions for our future as a family, a nation, and a world.

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Nonfiction Checklist Editing Workshop

  1. Does your opening involve a person experiencing an event? If not, do you have such a scene elsewhere that would be a better opening?
  2. Is there something visual on each page, something for the reader to imagine?
  3. In an article, does the action build to a climax or make point after point on a plateau?
  4. In a book, does the end of each chapter point toward the next?
  5. Have you summarized material that could make interesting scenes?
  6. Have you raised questions and then delayed answering them to create suspense?
  7. Does the piece reverberate with other times, other places, or other people?
  8. Have you consciously tried to create stress in your reader?
  9. Could the weakest segment of the piece be cut or condensed?
  10. Have you eliminated most adjectives, adverbs, and repetitive phrases?
  11. Have you cut all clichés? “Say it new or say it straight.”
  12. Have you replaced similes and metaphors that are tired or strained?
  13. Have you padded the piece with description?
  14. Have you used fiction techniques to characterize the people you mention?
  15. Can you convert any sentence to a question to arouse curiosity?
  16. Have you used short sentences and small paragraphs to create a fast pace?

Adapted from Stein on Writing by Sol Stein.

Posted by Toby Fesler Heathcotte
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Fiction Checklist Editing Workshop

  1. Do you show more than tell? Do you create a balance between scenes and narrative that is enjoyable to read?
  2. Do you display characters’ emotions through action and dialogue rather than  describe them in words such as angry or sullen?
  3. Do you introduce characters with a few imaginative details rather than a character summary?
  4. Do you establish characters thru action, interior monologue, and dialogue rather than describe them?
  5. Do you use back story sparingly, introducing it only when needed?
  6. Do you introduce setting with imaginative details, a bit at a time?
  7. Which point of view are you using and why? Is it consistent?
  8. Do you use interior monologue to show your characters’ thoughts and feelings? Do you avoid the words “he thought” and use italics sparingly in the I point of view?
  9. Is your narrative proportional, spending time on the most important elements?
  10. Does your dialogue sound natural when you read it aloud? Have you used word choice, cadence, and grammar to reflect dialect?
  11. Have you eliminated all “ly” words and paragraphs opening with a speaker attribution?
  12. Do you use “said” to clarify who is speaking or a beat of action to attribute dialogue to characters rather than unnecessary attributions, such as he snapped or she chuckled?
  13. Have you used ellipses for gaps and dashes for interruptions?
  14. Do you use beats between dialogue to illuminate character and make it unique?
  15. Do you vary the length of your paragraphs, your scenes, your chapters for variety and flow?
  16. Is your manuscript free of repetitions of phrases, ideas, and actions?
  17. Have you minimized “as” and “ing” constructions, clichés, explicit sex scenes, profanity?
  18. Have you used good grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation?

Adapted from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne and Dave King     

Posted by Toby Fesler Heathcotte
Amazon  Ms. Toby Fesler Heathcotte